Men's spring preview: WAC
During the month of January, Golfweek will preview the 2014 spring season for each conference. Today, we look at the WAC:
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5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Top of the class: New Mexico State
• Player to watch: Kenneth Fadke, New Mexico State. Fadke, ranked 137th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, is the best player on the best team in the conference.
• Freshman to watch: Jared du Toit, Idaho. If the Vandals are going to have any shot at the conference title, they’ll need a big performance this spring from du Toit.
• Conference championship: May 2-4, Stallion Mountain GC, Las Vegas
• Past champions (since 2009): New Mexico State (2013), San Jose State (2012), New Mexico State (2010-11)
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(Golfweek/Sagarin rank in parentheses)
- New Mexico State (65): The Aggies placed sixth at the Falcon Invite and 11th at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate before closing the fall with two victories, at the Herb Wimberley Intercollegiate and the Price’s Give ‘Em Five Invitational. Sophomore Kenneth Fadke was second in the conference with a 71.67 fall scoring average while juniors Brett Walker and Pat Beyhan, and freshman Travis Benson round out a formidable top 4 for the Aggies.
- Idaho (127): The Vandals were eighth at the Price’s Give ‘Em Five Invitational, but did have two top 5s in five total fall starts. Three players – sophomore Rylee Iacolucci, freshman Jared du Toit and junior Aaron Cockerill – competed in five fall events and recorded a scoring average of 72.2 or better. Iacolucci led the conference in scoring average (71.33).
- Missouri-Kansas City (183): The Kangaroos played a relatively challenging fall schedule, but came away with just three top 10s in five events. Antoine Rozner was this squad’s standout performer during the fall with a 73.67 scoring average.
- Utah Valley (193): A runner-up at the Battle in the Tetons kicked off the fall for the Wolverines, but Utah Valley didn’t finish better than fifth in its remaining four fall events. Four different players did record individual top 10s, though.
- Grand Canyon (195): The Antelopes won the UNO Maverick Collegiate and had two other top 5s in five fall events, but they were also 12th at the Price’s Give ‘Em Five Invitational. This team is led by Mark Geddes, who was third in the conference in scoring (71.79).
- Seattle (198): The Redhawks finished 12th or worse three times in five fall events, but did have a T-3 showing at the Dash Thomas Memorial.
- Texas-Pan American (275): The Broncs were second to begin the fall at the CSU Invite, but then finished third to last or worse in their last three fall starts.
- Cal State Bakersfield (287): The Roadrunners played three times during the fall and placed last in all three events.
- Chicago State (289): Six events kept the Cougars busy during the fall. Chicago State won the Troll Classic and had three other top 5s, but two of those top 5s were also last-place finishes.